- The Apple Watch Series 9 is the best reason to avoid the Apple Watch Series 8, as it offers a brighter display, better processor, and gesture-based controls.
- Android compatibility is lacking with the Apple Watch Series 8, making it a poor choice for Android smartphone users.
- The upgrades from the Apple Watch Series 8 to the Series 9 are minor, so considering previous generations may be a better option for casual users.
- The price tag of the Apple Watch Series 8 is not significantly cheaper than the Series 9, making it less appealing for budget-conscious consumers.
- Alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 8 include the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Bespoke Edition, and Fitbit Charge 5.
Anyone interested in a smartwatch has considered Apple’s flagship wearable. While the Apple Watch Series 8 is far from outdated, there are a number of reasons to avoid it. One is obvious if you’re an Apple fan, but we think you’ll be surprised by the rest of our reasons to avoid an Apple Watch Series 8 today.
The Apple Watch Series 9
The best reason to avoid an Apple Watch Series 8 is the company’s upcoming smartwatch. Apple recently announced the Apple Watch Series 9 during their annual event alongside the iPhone 15. As you’d expect, it’s the best smartwatch from the company to date.
Apple cranks out smartwatches at a rapid pace until the next generation is announced. That means the Apple Watch Series 8 has already been discontinued, although it will receive support for many years to come. Buying something that’s already discontinued generally isn’t a wise idea, and the company’s newest smartwatch has other advantages as well.
While both watches have the same design, the Series 9 has a much brighter display. It can hit 2,000 nits peak brightness, which makes a significant impact outdoors. The processor is better, and so is connectivity. That may not seem like a major deal, but that new chip allows for gesture-based controls on the Watch Series 9.
Gestures are a feature we expect will become incredibly popular and push a lot of new watches for the company.
Do you have an Android smartphone? If so, you’ll want to think twice before purchasing the Apple Watch Series 8. While it’s a fantastic smartwatch, to say Android compatibility is lacking would be an understatement.
One of the draws of buying an Apple Watch is all the fun features that work alongside an iPhone. Siri is one of them, and so are health and fitness tracking features. You can access some of these things when using an Android smartphone with a smartwatch, but you can’t sync them up.
These devices are used independently of one another, and there is currently no “easy” way to make an Android phone work alongside an Apple Watch. If you plan to buy the Watch Series 8 to use with the OnePlus or a Galaxy smartphone, it’s a waste of time and money.
Apple doesn’t miss an upgrade cycle, so we see the company roll out new tablets, computers, and smartphones every year. Accessories like the Apple Watch fall into that category, although you may be surprised at just how minor the upgrades are from year to year.
We touched on the upgrades from the Apple Watch Series 8 to the Watch Series 9, which are amazing but won’t be that important to many users — especially casual users considering a quick upgrade. The Apple Watch Series 8 was just a minor upgrade over the Series 7, with crash detection and a temperature sensor among the new features.
If you’re considering picking the Apple Watch Series 8, take a look at the previous generations before making a decision. Consider your usage along with the new features that come with each generation of the wearable.
The Price Tag
Whenever new consumer tech arrives, older models typically get discontinued and discounted. It’s common with a variety of consumer goods, including TVs, computers, and smartwatches. You can find deep discounts on wearables like the Fitbit and even older Galaxy Watches, but Apple wearables are in an odd spot with pricing.
Apple devices are sold at a premium, but their products hold their value better than other brands. Used and refurbished tech gives consumers with a tight budget a nice entry point into the company’s ecosystem. Unfortunately, that’s your best option, as a brand new old stock Apple Watch Series 7 will cost just as much, if not more than, the Series 9. When Apple stops manufacturing a device, stock tends to dry up quickly.
As soon as the Watch Series 9 was announced, the supply of Series 8 watches began to dwindle. While the new watch will debut on September 22, 2023, the old watch is just $100 cheaper through third-party sites at the time of writing. You can currently snag the Watch Series 7 for around $50-$80 cheaper and still have a comparable experience.
Alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 8
The Best Alternative: Apple Watch Series 9
- S9 chip delivers a super bright Always-On Retina display
- New gesture-based controls
- Fitness and sleep trackers
- Blood Oxygen, ECG, and temperature-sensing apps
- Fall detection, crash detection, and emergency SOS
- Midnight aluminum case with Midnight sport band S/M
The best reason to avoid an Apple Watch Series 8 is the Series 9, Apple’s latest smartwatch. While this wearable may not look any different from the previous generation, the company has made several significant improvements for the 2023/2024 season.
The new Apple Watch has a brand new processor with the Apple S9. The new chip allows users to try gestures with the watch. It’s a feature you can only get on the new Apple Watch and it’s a great reason to avoid older generations. The resolution and overall style remain the same, but the screen is said to be twice as bright as the Watch Series 8.
The Watch 9 also has fall and crash detection, which debuted with the Series 8 smartwatch, and it’s more eco-friendly than other wearables. When used with the Sports Loop, it’s a carbon-neutral watch. The Watch 9 is also packed full of health and fitness features along with Siri integration. The watch can track your heart rate and other metrics during workouts, including sleep and your general well-being.
Apple’s new smartwatch is available in two sizes with a 41mm or 45mm case. While not a massive upgrade over the Watch Series 8, gesture support and the brighter screen are well worth a look if you’ve been waiting to jump in. The Apple Watch Series 9 comes in a variety of hues, including the annual Project RED edition.
Premium Pick: Apple Watch Ultra 2
Rugged yet attractive are the first words to spring to mind with the Apple Watch Ultra 2. This smartwatch has a 49mm case crafted from titanium — not aluminum. It’s corrosion-resistant and MIL-STD tested for outdoor conditions, including water resistance down to 100 meters. You can dive in this watch, and the battery life will blow you away.
Apple doesn’t crank out as many variants of their devices as other companies, so it took a while for a new type of smartwatch to debut. The Apple Watch Ultra shook things up last year, and the latest version is the best choice for Apple fans looking for a rugged wearable for the outdoors.
The battery ranges from around 30-70 hours on this watch, depending on the mode and usage. That’s impressive, and so are the built-in features for athletes and adventurers. Top-tier connectivity options ensure you’ll never get lost in the wilds, and it has the same health tracking features found on the Watch 9. It also has the new S9 processor, which makes the already bright display even brighter outdoors.
At $800, the Apple Watch Ultra isn’t cheap but it’s well worth the price when you want the best the company has to offer. It’s large but still feels good on the wrist, and features like the Action button are incredibly handy. It’s not worth the upgrade from the previous version, but it should be on your list if you haven’t purchased an Apple Watch yet.
For Android Fans: Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Bespoke Edition
- Improved battery for up to 50 hours of life
- Advanced sleep tracker
- Heart rate monitoring
- Enhanced GPS with voice navigation
- BIA technology tracks body composition
While you can use Apple and Android watches with various handsets, the functionality is minimal when you jump the fence. If you currently use an Android device and are considering the Apple Watch Series 8, you’ll want to reconsider and take a look at the Galaxy Watch5.
The Watch5 is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s flagship smartwatch but with a completely different vibe. It has a traditional round face and comes in three sizes including 40, 44, or 45mm. It’s also cheaper while still providing heart rate monitoring, sleep coaching, and even has a BIA meter to check your body mass index.
Samsung improved the sensor accuracy for the Watch5, which has excellent battery life of 30-50 hours, depending on the model. We chose the stylish Galaxy Watch5 Bepoke edition with Bluetooth, but LTE variants are also available along with Watch5 Pro. Other noteworthy features include auto workout tracking, enhanced GPS, and a durable sapphire glass display.
Samsung’s newest wearable is an excellent alternative to the Apple Watch and one of the best Android smartwatches around. It’s comparable to the Series 8 in terms of features, even if the design is completely different. It’s also cheap unless you need something with more power, like the Galaxy Watch5 Pro.
Focused on Fitness: Fitbit Charge 5
- Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to exercise or should focus on recovery
- Daily Stress Management Score showing your body’s response to stress
- Band Size: Small: Fits wrist 5.1"- 6.7", Large: Fits wrist 6.7" - 8.3" in circumference
- Track your heart health with high and low heart rate notifications and ECG app
- Tracks SpO2, heart rate variability, skin temperature variation, and more
- Real-time pace and distance without your phone using built-in GPS
Each year, millions of people buy the Apple Watch and other smartwatches to keep track of fitness-oriented activities. If you’re one of those folks, you may be better off with a dedicated device like the Fitbit Charge 5.
Before smartwatches became a part of daily life, Fitbit was dealing with gadgets that tracked various metrics. The Fitbit Charge 5 isn’t their smartest model, but it’s arguably their best. This slim tracker has a stylish design and tracks stress, blood-oxygen levels, skin temperature, and your heart rate. It works alongside the company’s ECG app as well.
As the Charge 5 is more of a fitness tracker than a “watch,” the battery life is outstanding. You can get up to seven days per charge from this wearable. Its color touchscreen display is easy to read indoors or outside, and it pairs perfectly with both Android and Apple smartphones. While you may not be able to fire up Siri, you can receive notifications through the wearable.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a budget-friendly fitness tracker that works seamlessly with an iPhone or Android smartphone. If you’re more concerned about your health and burning calories than browsing TikTok, it’s an excellent choice. Just keep in mind that some fitness features are locked behind a paywall and will require a monthly subscription.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is a fine smartwatch but it’s not necessarily the best choice anymore. The Series 9 plays a part in that — even if it’s not a significant upgrade for all users. If you’re not entirely sold on the idea of a smartwatch, consider an option from our list of the best hybrid smartwatches available today!
Apple Watch Series 8 Alternatives
|Apple Watch Series 9
|Apple Watch Ultra 2
|Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Bespoke Edition
|Fitbit Charge 5
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